Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bearfan, Oct 30, 2012.
I don't know .. I think my kids probably think more highly of the prequels than I do .. because they saw them when they were about the same age as I was when I saw the OT .. similar kind of attachment.
I don't hate the prequels, there is enough good stuff in each of them ... but yeah, I would go. Rogue One was the only one I did not see on opening day, had a family emergency and could not go.
I grew up with the prequels too, even then I thought the originals were better. Although I enjoyed AOTC then a lot more than I do now. If any of the prequels succeeded at being a fun "children's film" (as Lucas would put it), that would be Clones.
Menace was dull, Clones was style, no substance, and ROTS was pretty damn good.
Which is what makes it a good kids film. The action is good and the special effects were pretty exciting at the time. It also didn't get too bogged down in its flimsy story the way Menace did.
Well, with the exception of my well documented dislike for TFA, my praise of Rogue One and my preference of the PT over OT... what exactly are you on about? That I put A New Hope before Empire?
Can't agree with your ranking @Maturin but I appreciate the nonconformity.
I don't know if I could rank them. Depends on which part of me you ask. I understand, for example, that technically Empire is the best made film, and I appreciate it much more in my older years, but my inner child screams for Jedi. I also have a hard time ranking Sith vs Menace - usually I think the one I saw most recently is the better of the two.
The only thing I can really do is place Rogue One above Force Awakens, and place Attack of the Clones dead-freaking-last.
I'm trying really hard not to be condescending or bash you...but, as a film school graduate I simply cannot stand idly by while someone puts anything from the prequel trilogy above any other film. In regards to everything except visual effects, the prequels (except for maybe 10 minutes of ROTS) are complete failures of filmmaking.
I once agree with you, and I think that is a spectacle, for sure - but it's an absolute failure of a sequence that should be used to reinforce the idea that Anakin was a good pilot. They could have told some interesting stories with that 10 minutes of time. I think the ending of Sith, while overblown and runs too long, was the best sequence in the film.
Wait, I was talking about the ending actually (other than the "NOOOOOO!"). Not sure what you're referencing...?
Sure... Everything. Music, sound design, cinematography, art direction, world building, over 6 hours worth of story, every single performance...
I get it that people don't like prequels and see many reasons why that's the case, but deeming them "complete failures of filmmaking in regards to everything except vfx" is gibberish.
You are right, I was overlooking the music and sound design.
But the cinematography is flat, especially considering how many great VFX are at play. The art direction is incredibly sterile, even when it's supposed to be in rugged terrain (like Tattooine). The world building is more of pencil shading with big ideas and very little substance. What do we know about the Gungans? They sometimes live in underwater bubbles, have a vaguely tribal society with what seems to be a king-like ruler, and they think farts are hilarious. 6 hours of convoluted, overly expository, bland storytelling that favors broad strokes instead of actual character development and tends to gloss over the actual important visual moments (such as Anakin murdering the sand people) in favor of describing through dialogue. This is telling, not showing, and is one of the single greatest sins a film/television writer or director can make. Lucas does this throughout the entire prequel trilogy. And the performances are absolutely atrocious because Lucas gave his actors no character motivation, very little direction, gave them no world to inhabit that could inform their performance because of green screens, and then digitally altered their actual performances in post-production so that he could get his shots to look better.
All exposition via walking and talking!
So that we can see more of the beautiful world! But actually listen to nothing! Because soon there are lightsabers! And robots making jokes!
Too much movement going on. Can't you sit them down on a couch or something?
OK in all seriousness, I disagree with Maturin too - but he is entitled to his opinion; unfortunately, I don't think there's a great reassessment of the Star Wars prequels coming up in the pop cultural zeitgeist, nor do I think there will be a scholarly re-evaluation of the films as anything other than one of the great cinematic disappointments of our time. But I'm glad he likes them.
I don't know what's the big deal about exposition in prequels. I think that for the most part dialogues further the story. It never bothered me. I've never felt I'm being told something I'd rather see.
The special effects are impressive and revolutionary, but I'm not sure if I'd say they weren't a failure in filmmaking. George created some really cool worlds, but none of them seem lived-in. The characters never interact with the worlds they're in because the actors themselves have no idea what those worlds are like. It all ends up feeling artificial and kills my suspension of disbelief. In the case of action scenes, There is a lot happening on screen, but nothing of substance is going on. It's hard to follow and there is no stakes to the battles, especially considering it is all powerful Jedi vs robots. Special effects are great, but what's the point if you don't care about the movie?
Nothing wrong with exposition, but the prequels fail in two areas. The first is what Knick alluded to, telling and not showing. The obvious example is that we're told Obiwan and Anakin are friends, but they seem like bitter rivals from the beginning of Episode II. Obiwan already dislikes Anakin in the first movie. Would've been better if the series started with Anakin as a padawan, with the two of them at odds early on but eventually developing a close relationship. Something like Han and Luke from the original, except of course their relationship deteriorates by the final film. Or forget all that and just not have them split up into separate adventures in II and III, so you can build their relationship on screen.
The other problem with the exposition is that Lucas wasn't creative with the way exposition was delivered. It was always walking and talking or sitting and talking. Always in a sterile location. No sense of urgency, even during major plot points. The characters don't seem to care, why should we care?
I don't get "rival" vibes at all. It's definitely a father/difficult teenager dynamic, which helped picturing Anakin's dark nature. You get the friendly, playful tones at the beginning of Episode III. For me that's enough to understand that between TPM and RotS they went through a lot, can get on each other's nerves, but there's still a very strong father/son (or brotherly) bond between them. In addition, there's also The Clone Wars where their relation is developed - it's not a movie, but it's a part of the story and you can't exclude that from the picture completely.
I'd call the style of filmmaking in prequels minimalistic. The way the story is shown reminds me of a myth or a fairy tale. Like high fantasy. In a sense, the "broad strokes" that MrKnickerbocker talked about are not necessarily damaging IMO.
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